The sun shone on Liverpool and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) as the 2014 Tour of Britain got underway on Sunday.
German sprint star Kittel started the 104.8km stage, which took in eight laps of a 13.1km circuit, as favourite and duly delivered by outsprinting Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) for victory.
Three British domestic riders Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JTL), Mark McNally (An Post-Chainreaction) and Jonathan Mould (NFTO) were joined by Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani CSF) in the first break of the race and Colbrelli and McNally ended the day on the podium having topped the sprint and mountain classifications respectively.
The efforts of the four riders came to an end within five kilometres of the finish and from there a messy sprint ensued and it was Kittel who stamped his authority on the race to win and take the first yellow jersey.
Here’s how stage one of the 2014 Tour of Britain unfolded through the lens of Alex Whitehead of SWPix.com.